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June 2003 Newsletter CURRENT PROJECTS Sustainable Regions Initiatives: • Food Industry Value Adding • Wind-Farm Related Industry Clusters • Natural Resource Management Careers • Family & Business Migration • Stronger Learning Pathways • Tourism Investment Programme

Regional Submissions: • Regional Business Development Analysis • Local Government and Cost Shifting • Regional Aviation Inquiry • Auslink

State Government Partnership: • Former Burnie Hospital site • Devonport Gateway Development Plan • Regional Transport & Infrastructure Plan • Bass Highway Upgrade • Arthur River Road • Regional Sports & Recreational Framework • Regional Cultural Plan • Cradle Valley

Partnership Results in Burnie Hospital Site Solution

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he awarding of the demolition contract for the old Burnie hospital is an important milestone for the Cradle Coast region and the Authority’s role as a broker of major regional projects. The site was sold to private owners in 1996, but by 2001 it was clear that significant governm ent intervention was needed to return it to productive use. The derelict buildings were not only physical impediments to further commercial development of this site, they had also more generally become monuments to failed development. The Burnie City Council recognised these issues and campaigned strongly for the State Government to act. Starting in 2001, the Authority joined the Council in building a regional case for action, based on the strategic importance of the site, its potential for development that could benefit the region and the failure of previous efforts to secure its future. The Authority negotiated this project as part of its Partnership Agreement with the State Government in October 2001. Since then the

project Joint Venture has purchased the site, sought expressions of interest for its redevelopment, called tenders for demolition of the old buildings and conducted exhaustive negotiations with two preferred tenderers. The process encountered frustrating delays as all possible issues were identified and dealt with. Now, after nearly eight years of uncertainty, a demolition contract has been signed, physical work will commence in July and the site will be ready for new developers in December 2003. To their credit, the State Government found additional funding for the demolition when the contract price came in above the original estimates. The Burnie Council has also maintained its commitment to the process, including management of site safety and local concerns, through many difficult stages. Throughout this process the project has attracted significant debate and media coverage. Whilst sometimes critical of the process, public support for its overall aims has

been consistently positive. People from across the region have voiced their concerns at critical stages, adding the weight of public support to the regional case promoted by the Authority and the Burnie Council. This project still faces many challenges and will not be completed until a new developer takes over the site. Expressions of interest will be advertised in July and the Joint Venture is developing a process to select suitable proposals that could later be applied to vacant sites elsewhere in the region. The total cost of the project, including the demolition works, will exceed $3 million, part of which will be recovered through the sale of the site to new developers. The Authority has not contributed financially to the project, but has been a broker for the partnership and an equal partner in all Joint Venture decisions. In this way, the Former Burnie Hospital project has joined the Strahan Sewerage upgrade, the Arthur River Road, the Cradle Valley development project and the Aquatics Facilities Study as projects of regional significance which the Authority has helped broker in the past two years.

Welcome to the Cradle Coast Authority Newsletter

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elcome to the Cradle Coast Authority’s first newsletter.

The newsletter will be published bi-monthly to keep you up to date with the projects and activities we are pursuing on your behalf. We hope it will also give you a better understanding of our role, funding arrangements and ongoing achievements.

We will also use the newsletter to introduce you to staff members so you can contact them to gain more information. In future issues we will be profiling the Cradle Coast Region’s Natural Resource Management Committee and explaining its role. We will also outline the major projects we are pursuing with

funding through the Commonwealth Government’s Sustainable Regions Programme. This is your newsletter, so we would appreciate your thoughts, suggestions and feedback. To comment please contact the Authority’s Executive Officer Sarah Poortenaar by telephone on 6431 6285, or email at spoortenaar@cradlecoast.net.au.


Cradle Coast Authority Newsletter

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SPOTLIGHT ON . . . EDUCATION Stronger Learning Pathways

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ick Flittner has a vision for the future – a Cradle Coast region that no longer has one of the lowest education and training participation rates in Australia.

the problem of low participation rates and this project will only be successful if we adopt a more targeted and co-ordinated approach,” Nick said.

“We want to find ways to bring education to people in remote areas rather than expecting them to travel away from home.”

“We need to stop duplicated effort and we need to establish better networks across the education and training sector, the business sector and the community sector, from kindergarten through to life-long Developed by the Cradle Coast learning.” Authority, the University of Tasmania, TAFE Tasmania and Early Initiatives the Tasmanian Education Department the Stronger Learn- Much of Nick’s early work has ing Pathways project has involved meeting people and been allocated $2 million fund- putting them in touch with each ing from the Commonwealth other. Government’s Sustainable Another early initiative is the Regions Programme. creation of an information

Nick is confident that many of the solutions and future projects will come from education, industry and community groups who are being encouraged to suggest projects.

As the Stronger Learning Pathways Project Officer, Nick will spend the next three years working to make his vision a reality.

Our low level of participation in post-compulsory education is the single biggest obstacle to the sustainable development of the Cradle Coast Region.

An additional $75,000 per year has been provided by the University of Tasmania, the Department of Education and TAFE to support Nick’s position. However, Nick does not believe that money alone will solve the region’s problems. “While we are of course keen to spend the money where it will make a difference, I actually think it would be great if we hadn’t spent any money but had achieved our outcomes because that would mean everyone was doing it for themselves and that we had succeeded by simply doing things better”.

Project Approach Helping people “do it for themselves” and more efficiently is one of Nick’s main roles as project officer.

Funding Process “The process of allocating the $2 million is not going to be a traditional grant process.

“Instead we are looking for innovative, partnership-based initiatives where the partners will contribute at least 50% of exchange network with Cornwall the funds required. in the United Kingdom. “We see this approach as an “Cornwall has similar geography investment strategy which will to the Cradle Coast region, ensure ongoing sustainability of similar industries and the same projects. issues with education and train“We’re not looking for shorting retention and participation term remedies, but rather will rates,” Nick said. be using the funding as seed “The UK has invested a lot of investment to build in an money in addressing these element of sustainability from issues and we’re going to the start. establish a process for benefit“Our low level of participation in ing from their experience.” post-compulsory education is the single biggest obstacle to Future Strategies the sustainable development of Future Stronger Learning the Cradle Coast Region. Pathways strategies may include individual school “We all need to get passionate projects like the No Dole about successfully addressing it programme and broad based by working together and being partnerships between the more innovative”. community and business.

“We’re also looking at providing educational and training services locally through the use “There is already a lot of activity of on-line technology combined and resources being applied to with local support.

Nick is urging councils to talk to their local schools, community groups and businesses to discuss potential projects and form partnerships.


Cradle Coast Authority Newsletter

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SPOTLIGHT ON . . . TOURISM Cradle Coast Authority Helps Lead Tassie Tourism Wave

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asmania is on the crest of a visitor number wave and the Cradle Coast Authority is doing everything it can to ensure North-West operators get more than their fair share. The Authority’s Regional Tourism Development Manager, Ian Waller, said there were two main reasons for the surge of interest in Tasmania as a destination. “The advent of Spirit I and Spirit II has made Tasmania a top of mind destination for tourists and the promotion of the twin ferries has created a perception that it is easier to get to Tasmania now. “On top of that Tasmania is benefiting from the fact that Australians are hesitant to travel internationally and international tourists are favoring Australia over other destinations”. Ian says that although actual figures won’t be available until the end of the financial year they will show dramatic increases. “There is no doubt that Tasmania is currently the ‘flavour of the month’ in the Australian tourism market and part of the Authority’s tourism role is to ensure we make the most of it by guaranteeing the industry meets the needs of the new visitor influx.

Ian says the Authority’s tourism role can be summed up as capacity, infrastructure and experience building. “We’re working with the industry to add to and expand the visitor experience. “That includes improving customer service and addressing infrastructure needs such as the provision of toilets and signage. “It is also about evaluating what the market needs as there is no point in building infrastructure for example a five-star hotel - if there is no demand for it.”

Tasmania is on the crest of a visitor number wave. One of the major tourism projects supported by the Authority with the aim of capitalising on increased visitor numbers is the Cradle Coast Regional Touring Strategy. The strategy, which is currently in draft form for comment, focuses on the development of touring routes to deliver a range of core visitor experiences through the innovative linking of attractions, activities and facilities.

“If we attract tourists here and then don’t make it great for them it will be a short-term thing.

The themed touring routes will provide a stronger purpose for visiting a region and will help improve length of stay, employment and yield.

“However, if we make it great they will not only return, they will bring others with them.”

Prepared under a Partnership Agreement between the State Government and the Cradle

Coast Authority the draft strategy proposes eight regional initiatives and recommends the development of three touring routes - the Great Nature Trail, Cradle Country and Wilderness Way. “This strategy recognises that visitors don’t go to one town and stay there for the duration of their visit,” Ian says. “It recognises that people want to move around and have a diversity of thematic experiences and it gives us a blueprint for providing that. “The touring route is also going to help us break down the perception that you can ‘do Tassie’ in a week.” Ian says that once the draft strategy is adopted the challenge will be to find the most effective ways to implement it. “We’ll be working in partnership with industry and local government to identify infrastructure, signage and training needs in the region along with opportunities for linking product and promotional material. “The development of this strategy has given the region the opportunity to be well positioned in terms of tourism product and experiences. “Combined with other Authority initiatives such as the Regional Touring Guide and the Local Tourism Strategies our future is looking good.” The Authority produces a regular newsletter on tourism. To obtain a copy, or to access more tourism information, contact Wayne Bolton on 6431 6285 or wbolton@cradlecoast.net.au

Current Tourism Projects: • Recreational Trails Strategy • Regional Touring Guide • Regional Touring Strategy • Local Tourism Strategies • West Coast Tourism & Jobs Growth Plan • Cradle Mountain Sewerage Business Case


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STAFF PROFILE . . . NICK FLITTNER Stronger Learning Pathways Project Officer

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ong before Seachange was a s u c c e s s f u l television series - and a coveted lifestyle choice Nick Flittner and his family made one.

In 1996 Nick and his family decided that Tasmania, and the opportunities it presented for balancing work and life, was the place for them. Following a lifelong dream to own a small farm the Flittner family relocated from Queensland to the Meander Valley. Stronger Learning Pathways Project Officer , Nick Flittner,

Contact us … 30 Marine Terrace, Burnie PO Box 338 Burnie 7320 Phone: 03 6431 6285 Fax: 03 6431 7014 Email: suzsmith@cradlecoast.net.au

Cradle Coast Authority Roger Jaensch—Executive Chairman rjaensch@cradlecoast.net.au Sarah Poortenaar—Executive Officer spoortenaar@cradlecoast.net.au

Tourism Ian Waller—Regional Tourism Development Manager iwaller@cradlecoast.net.au

Natural Resource Management Dirk Holwerda—Natural Resource Management Co-ordinator dholwerda@cradlecoast.net.au

Stronger Learning Pathways Nick Flittner—Project Officer nflittner@cradlecoast.net.au

A trained school teacher with experience at every level of the school system, Nick secured work with the University of Tasmania as a resource officer in the Riawunna Centre for Aboriginal Education.

As a community member Nick became involved with the establishment of an on-line access centre for D e l o r ai n e a nd Meander and subsequently accepted the paid position of co-ordinator of the Meander On-line Access Centre. This interest in community development led to Nick’s appointment as State Field Officer for the Rural Transaction Centre Programme. “The job basically involved helping small communities to maintain access to services and was extremely satisfying,” Nick said. When the contract for that position expired Nick was delighted to be able to accept the role of Project

Officer for the Stronger Learning Pathways Project. “It’s been really exciting to find a job which is enabling me to use all of the skills developed in my career and allowing me to combine them into one role. “It’s going to be a challenging and productive project and I’m looking forward to working with the Cradle Coast R eg i o n’s ed uc ati o n, industry, community and local government sectors to achieve sustainable outcomes.” Nick is available to talk to councils about potential projects under the Stronger Learning Pathways initiative. Contact Nick on 6431 6285.

About us … The Cradle Coast Authority is a joint authority created to co-ordinate and drive economic development within the nine local government areas of NorthWest and Western Tasmania. Its primary role is to identify priorities for economic development and to broker partnerships between levels of government, industry and community groups to address these priorities at a regional level. The Authority’s Board includes me mb e rs wi t h e x pe ri e n c e i n agriculture, industry, commerce, education, tourism and local government.

The Authority’s member Councils contribute to its annual budget for core operations, but all regional development activities are funded through partnerships and funding agreements with other bodies. The Authority is engaged in a wide range of regional initiatives including tourism, natural resource management, community and cultural development, industry development, education and training, and infrastructure development projects. It has formal partnership agreements with all levels of government and is continually seeking new opportunities to represent and serve its region’s interests.


June 2003 Newsletter